Slowthai says he does not 'condone violence' after Mercury performance with 'severed head' of Boris Johnson

Danny Thompson
Contributor

Rapper Slowthai has defended his controversial Mercury Prize ceremony performance which saw him perform on stage with an effigy of Boris Johnson’s severed head.

The 24-year-old was one of twelve nominees for the prestigious album award, for his Nothing Great About Britain album.

The Northampton-born performer took to the stage carrying the model of the Prime Minister, yelling “f*** Boris Johnson”, ahead of a performance of his track Doorman.

Read more: Rapper slowthai brandishes severed Boris head effigy

The performance sparked outrage, but the rapper has now responded to say the act was a metaphor “for what the Government are doing to our country”.

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 19: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY) Tyron Frampton of slowthai attends the Hyundai Mercury Prize: Albums of the Year at Eventim Apollo, Hammersmith on September 19, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Jo Hale/Redferns)

In a Twitter post, Slowthai said: “Last night I held a mirror up to this country and some people don't like the reflection. Yet this is exactly where we're being taken, cut off and at all costs.

“The people in power who are trying to isolate and divide us aren't the ones who will feel its effects the hardest.

“They're not the ones having to deal with systematic oppression and hate crimes at the hands of privileged politicians who say what they want without fear and consequence.

“We as a people are not being looked after and our best interests are not being served by those in government- this is their job and they're not doing it well enough.

“This act was a metaphor for what the government is doing to our country, except what I did was present it in plain sight.

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 19: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY) Tyron Frampton of slowthai attends the Hyundai Mercury Prize: Albums of the Year at Eventim Apollo, Hammersmith on September 19, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Jo Hale/Redferns)

“No Boris Johnson’s were hurt in the making of this performance. I don’t condone violence in any form.”

Read more: Dave thanks mother and brother for Mercury Prize win

It isn’t the first time this year the Prime Minister has proven unpopular with the world of Hip Hop. Grime big-hitter Stormzy’s track Vossi Bop famously feature the lyrics “f**k the Government, and f**k Boris too”.

The prestigious prize was eventually picked up by rapper Dave for his album Psychodrama.